A new study by sexual health researchers at Indiana University found that women who used lubricant during sex reported significantly higher levels of satisfaction and pleasure. The study, involving 2,453 women, is the largest systematic study of this kind, despite the widespread commercial availability of lubricant and the gaps in knowledge concerning its role in alleviating pain or contributing to other health issues.
"These findings help us to reinforce to sexually active individuals that not only are lubricants important to safer sex but that they also contribute to the overall quality of one's sexual experiences," he said.
More than 70% of the time that lubricant was used for vaginal or anal intercourse, study participants indicated that they did so in order to make sex more pleasurable; more than 60% of women indicated this was the case during masturbation.
More than one third of the time that lubricant was used for vaginal sex, anal sex or masturbation, women indicated that they used lubricant because it was fun to do so.
Sizable proportions of women also indicated that they chose to use lubricant in order to reduce the risk of tearing, particularly for anal intercourse.